12th Day of Ridvan Holy Day Devotional Program
Updated: Apr 27
A suggested devotional program for your next 12th Day of Ridvan Holy Day celebration.
O Thou kind Lord! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household. In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all mankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty; all are illumined through the light of Thy Providence.
O God! Thou art kind to all, Thou hast provided for all, dost shelter all, conferrest life upon all. Thou hast endowed each and all with talents and faculties, and all are submerged in the Ocean of Thy Mercy.
O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony.
O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind.
O God! Establish the Most Great Peace.
Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together.
O Thou kind Father, God! Gladden our hearts through the fragrance of Thy love. Brighten our eyes through the Light of Thy Guidance. Delight our ears with the melody of Thy Word, and shelter us all in the Stronghold of Thy Providence.
Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind.
He is the Most Holy, the Most Glorious.
Praise be to Thee, O my God, that the dawn of Thy Ridván Festival hath broken, and that therein one who had sought Thy presence hath attained his goal, O Thou our Lord, the Most Merciful! How numerous are Thy loved ones, O my God, who traversed the sands of Syria in their longing to gaze on Thy beauty but who were prevented from attaining the court of Thy transcendent oneness by reason of the misdeeds of Thy foes, who have disbelieved in Thee and gainsaid Thy sovereignty.
O Lord! Look upon the oppressors of Thy people with the eye of Thine avenging wrath. By Thy might! Their iniquity hath reached such heights as none can reckon save Thyself, Who knowest all things. Thy loved ones acquiesced to captivity and confinement in this prison, and yet their enemies were still not satisfied, so intense was their hatred for the Manifestation of Thy Cause. Blessed be the man of insight who seeth in all that hath befallen him in Thy path naught save that which shall exalt his station and magnify Thy Cause, O Thou the Lord of the worlds!
By Thy glory! Were all the peoples of the earth to join together to harm a single one of the people of Bahá, they would find themselves powerless, for all that they see as harming Thy chosen ones is as light unto them and as fire unto Thine enemies. Were it not for the confinement, in the Most Great Prison, of Him Who is the Exponent of Thy transcendent sovereignty, how would Thy Cause have been promulgated, Thy sovereignty manifested, Thy might proclaimed, and the truth of Thy signs established? Would that I Myself had borne all the tribulations of the world, out of love for Thee and for Thy creatures!
O Lord! Open Thou the eyes of Thy servants, that they may behold Thee at all times seated upon the throne of Thy grandeur and supreme over all who are in heaven and on earth. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.
On the first day that the Ancient Beauty ascended His Most Great Throne in the garden named Ridván, the Tongue of Glory gave utterance to three blessed words. First, that in this Revelation the law of the sword hath been annulled. Second, that ere the expiration of one thousand years whosoever advanceth a prophetic claim is false. By “year” a full year is intended, and no exegesis or interpretation is permitted in this matter. And third, that at that very hour God, exalted be His Glory, shed the full splendour of all His names upon all creation.
Of the exact circumstances attending that epoch-making Declaration we, alas, are but scantily informed. The words Bahá’u’lláh actually uttered on that occasion, the manner of His Declaration, the reaction it produced, its impact on Mírzá Yaḥyá, the identity of those who were privileged to hear Him, are shrouded in an obscurity which future historians will find it difficult to penetrate. The fragmentary description left to posterity by His chronicler Nabíl is one of the very few authentic records we possess of the memorable days He spent in that garden. “Every day,” Nabíl has related, “ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Bahá’u’lláh would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city.”
As to the significance of that Declaration let Bahá’u’lláh Himself reveal to us its import. Acclaiming that historic occasion as the “Most Great Festival,” the “King of Festivals,” the “Festival of God,” He has, in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, characterized it as the Day whereon “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification,” whilst in one of His specific Tablets, He has referred to it as the Day whereon “the breezes of forgiveness were wafted over the entire creation.”
- Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
“Rejoice, with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá!”, He, in another Tablet, has written, “as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His Name, the All-Merciful Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all that dwell on earth and in the heavens would swoon away and die, except such as will be preserved by God, the Almighty, the All- Knowing, the All-Wise. Such is the inebriating effect of the words of God upon the Revealer of His undoubted proofs that His pen can move no longer.” And again: “The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching.
- Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
The Day-Star of Blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our Name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the Kingdom of the Name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the Name of Thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Take heed lest anything deter Thee from extolling the greatness of this Day—the Day whereon the Finger of Majesty and Power hath opened the seal of the Wine of Reunion, and called all who are in the heavens and all who are on earth. This is the Day whereon the unseen world crieth out: ‘Great is thy blessedness, O earth, for thou hast been made the footstool of thy God, and been chosen as the seat of His mighty throne’ Say He it is Who hath laid bare before you the hidden and treasured Gem, were ye to seek it. He it is who is the One Beloved of all things, whether of the past or of the future.” - Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
And yet again: “Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridván and entered it. Guide, then, the people unto the Garden of Delight which God hath made the Throne of His Paradise Within this Paradise, and from the heights of its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted: ‘Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne round the cups of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill.’”
- Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By
My Friends in World! Ponder awhile. Hast thou ever heard that friend and foe should abide in one heart? Cast out then the stranger, that the Friend may enter His home. - Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah
O Thou Who art the Lord of Lords! I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein. - Bahá’u’lláh